The Reason for the Season: 2011 Giving

I try to donate to worthy causes throughout the year (although I draw the line at giving to the kids with clipboards who cover so much of SF’s Financial District) , but I especially like to make donations during the holidays.

This year, I made my usual donations to This American Life and the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, as well as a donation to the San Francisco Food Bank, and I also supported three new organizations:

Food Corps
I first heard about Food Corps in Mark Bittman’s New York Times column earlier this year. Food Corps connects volunteers to serve in areas in the U.S. with high obesity rates and/or areas with less access to fresh food (so-called food deserts). Volunteers help build gardens, teach nutrition and work to improve school lunches.  As Bittman wrote “for less than a million bucks of our money we are getting a program that will start to roll back the $147 billion it costs us each year to deal with the health consequences of obesity.”

Wholesome Wave
A common complaint about eating locally grown produce is that it’s expensive, but this organization aims to change that by make fresh food available to everyone. One of its accomplishments has been to double the value of food stamps that are used at farmers markets which helps support local farmers and get better food to those in need.

Farmer Veteran Coalition
Another organization that supports two worthy goals is the Farmer Veteran Coalition which helps returning service men and women get farming jobs. This brings much-needed employment options to veterans and it helps grow a new generation of farmers.  Bon Appetit Management Company shared some incredible pictures and stories here.

Other Worthy Organizations

2010 – A Christmas Way of Living

2009 – Help to Make the Season Bright

2008 – A Time for Gifts and Giving

2007 – Come on Y’All It’s Time to Get Nice

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